Centre for Youth Development and Social Empowerment (Cydise) has embarked on a programme aimed at reducing further spread of HIV and Aids and tuberculosis (TB) in Lilongwe Rural.
The programme has come at a time Malawi and other African countries are struggling to contain the further spread of the two deadly diseases.
Speaking yesterday during an orientation meeting in Senior Chief Kabudula’s area in the district, Cydise executive director Nefitale Chizongo said the programme would help to address challenges health centres face such as lack of sputum collection points.
He cited M’ngoni Health Centre in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtema that has no microscope, electricity and motor cycle to transport sputum.
Chizongo said the facility has no statistics of TB patients due to lack of diagnostic machine.
“Despite the fact that TB is a curable and preventable disease, it continues to be a leading killer of people and the programme will see people in rural areas of Lilongwe such as Mtema and Kabudula being sensitised and diagnosed so that they get a proper treatment,” he said.
Group village head Kabudula said the rural hospital has three microscopes, but only one is functioning.
He, however, said the programme would help to address the challenges that TB patients face in the area.
Kabudula Rural Hospital clinical officer Obrey Msuza said most health centres in areas such as Nsalu and Chikowa have no electricity and microscopes to help in diagnosing TB.
The rural hospital serves 41 000 people, has 11 sputum collection points with 20 people trained to diagnose TB.
In the last quarter [January to March], the hospital treated 18 TB patients and provided anti-retroviral therapy (ART) services to 2 400 people. n